every morning we dance and glide
at some unknown time just before nine
paying our fares, huddled up stairs
weaving make-believe lines again
through turnstiles bursting we scatter
like frightened birds we seek comfort
in familiar routine
bagel with butter, coffee with cream
we dance together everyday
same partners, different face
up escalators, crossing streets
dodging taxis, shuffling feet
it’s a dance, don’t you see?
another routine
not beasts of burden are we
we are dancers
on every day in every way
if we’d only open our eyes to see
take action to listen
set yourself free




the sweet smell of an indian summer’s
eve left on me cheek and hotness
of breath on the nape of my neck
remind me how memories most pleasing
will come reeling in to where i find
comfort in healing hands and curly words
tickling my insides and out
i fall so swiftly and with mind-numbing ease
back to one who holds hope so close at hand
and i buy that lottery ticket not because
i think i might actually win
but instead because that anticipation, that hope
feeds me
and i can almost taste
the first drag of the cigarette
the morning after



you know when you wake up
in the middle of the night
and you’re starving, famished, ravenous?
you just need a little snack
to hold you over till breakfast
so you drag yourself to the cupboard
grab a cookie to nibble on
because it’s there and it’s easy
but when you finish you find
you’re hungrier than when you started
and that was the last cookie in the package
and the thought of going to sleep without more
is nearly unbearable and unconquerable

i still don’t know how my TV screen got ashes on it
because i never watch it and it’s about eight miles
from the ashtray and i try very hard not to smoke
anywhere else but at my writing desk
but nonetheless they are there
smeared in constellation on milky gray screen

i try so hard to keep my distance and yet
i still find something unpleasant smeared onto me,
smeared onto the unused screens of my brain,
and if i wipe them clean i’ll turn around
to find you holding a cigarette with a two-foot-long ash
waiting for me to open up
and get dirty all over again